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Automobile and Consumerism
The automobile has completely revolutionized consumer culture. From being a novel invention that very few could afford to own, to becoming the number one purchased product in the United States, the automobile has not only changed the way that individuals travel independently, it has also altered the advertising industry. Advertising is the mechanism by which consumers are able to become aware of the products that are being made and sold (Pricken, 2004). This has in turn created a culture based on materialism and consumerism. Individuals are now purchasing items that are not necessarily essential, but they are presented in a way that allows consumers to believe that their lives would not be able to function appropriately without them. When it comes to the automobile, the techniques are no different. In modern, developed countries, the automobile is as common as having a bicycle. It is heavily relied on to do just about everything. Households in these countries often have more than one vehicle for their family. Advertising for this product has not only allowed for this revolution to occur in the first place -- it continues to feed it.
In order to appeal to a wider crowd and to get a product sold, the correct persuasive techniques need to be implemented. A popular technique used is association and it takes advantage of a celebrity's status (Pricken, 2004). Celebrities are pop culture symbols, therefore becoming part of the consumerism that has engulfed people. Actress Kate Walsh has advertised for Cadillac on numerous occasions (Cameronsfx, 2008). This advertising has helped Cadillac sell their automobiles, while maintaining the idea that they are in touch with popular culture. Choosing a celebrity signifies that a product has already reached a status that have celebrities willing to put their names on the product. When celebrities are chosen to sponsor an item it makes people think that they can be just like these celebrities if one were to purchase the item that the celebrity is vouching for. This puts more emphasis on the status that the automobile will bring you, instead of the practical uses that it may have had.
Another technique used in advertising is appealing to normal people and also convincing them to join the crowd, through a technique called bandwagon (Pricken, 2004). Although a complete contrast from what was aforementioned, automobiles are practical products that allow individuals to lead easier and more convenient lifestyles. As seen in various automobile commercials, especially in Hyundai commercials that try to appeal to an economically challenged crowd, the advertising technique used of showing real families using their cars for everyday errands is done in order to convince viewers that everyday people are purchasing these vehicles (HyundaiWorldwide, 2012). Families showcasing themselves and leading their normal lives with the automobile allows for more people to be able to associate themselves and their lives with the commercial itself. It is also giving viewers the impression that everyone is buying this car because of the affordability and therefore every person should follow in those footsteps.
When it comes to advertising, no grounds are off limits. The advertising industry is one that appeals to the consumers that are able to find a use for the products and that will be able to purchase the items themselves. However, advertisement agencies also know how easily adults could be swayed by their children. The advertising that goes into automobiles is no different. They too appeal to children in an attempt to get their parents to purchase the vehicles. Children are members of a consumer society and when it comes to advertising, they are the crowd to try to appeal to (Shah, 2010). In advertising automobiles, children are advertised to in a variety of ways. To begin with, the technology that is now a part of the manufacturing of most brand new vehicles has been tailored toward children and in keeping them occupied for long periods of time. From televisions in the back seats to Wi-Fi accessibility, advertising these features for children allows them to become more excited and therefore attempt to convince the parents of purchasing the vehicle.
Advertising in schools is also seen widely when it comes to automobiles. The biggest target group in this category are college students. At this point, the advertisements are going directly to the students, but in this case both the student or the student's parents are the ones that will be doing the actual purchasing. This is an essential distinguishing factor when it comes to…[continue]
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